Religion and Politics in the United States / Edition 6

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 67%)
Est. Return Date: 06/18/2015
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.82
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (30) from $4.82   
  • New (8) from $16.39   
  • Used (22) from $4.82   


This sixth edition of Religion and Politics in the United States offers a comprehensive account of the role of religious ideas, institutions, and communities in American life. Through a detailed review of the political attitudes and behavior of major religious and minority faith traditions, the book establishes that religion continues to be a major part of the American cultural and political milieu while explaining that it must interact with many other factors to influence political outcomes in the United States. This edition also reviews the role of religion in the 2008 election and includes fully up-to-date coverage of how religion informs the civil rights struggles of women and gay Americans.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Calvin College
Long the standard by which other volumes on religion and politics are measured, this new edition continues to provide not only up-to-date coverage but an excellent breadth and depth of such coverage as well.
— Corwin Smidt
Calvin College - Corwin E. Smidt
Long the standard by which other volumes on religion and politics are measured, this new edition continues to provide not only up-to-date coverage but an excellent breadth and depth of such coverage as well.
Clyde Wilcox
I look forward to each new edition of this text. I have long recommended it to undergraduate and graduate students, and to colleagues who want to better understand the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. Now a classic has gotten even better, with expanded coverage of religion and gender politics, and the politics of sexual diversity. I recommend this highly to political scientists, sociologists, historians, and anyone interested in the myriad ways that politics and religion influence one another.
John C. Green
Praise for the Fifth Edition: Religion and Politics in the United States is among the premier texts on the subject, expanded and improved in this edition. Clear and comprehensive, I can think of no better introduction to the place, promises, and perils of faith in the American political process....
Fredrick Harris
Praise for the Fifth Edition: Kenneth D. Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown have updated and extended one of the leading texts in religion and politics. This timely new volume uncovers one of the most important yet understudied phenomena in American life: how citizens' religious beliefs and institutions both promote and constrain their involvement in politics. As religion emerges at the center of debates in American politics, now more than ever this volume is critical to students as they attempt to unravel the complexity of religion as both a diversionary and liberating force in the body politic...
James O'Hara
I look forward to the seventh edition of Religion and Politics in the United States. Having used the fifth and sixth editions in my class, it is reassuring to know that Wald and Calhoun are keeping pace with the dynamic, ever-changing political impact of religion in our pluralistic society. Their research is thorough, current, and prudently balanced, providing a comprehensive perspective on this significant topic while, at the same time, recognizing the interaction of religion with many other factors.
Terri Fine
This book provides an excellent foundation for why religion in politics matters in the United States today. The authors use a wide range of sources in explaining why and how the U.S. is exceptional in the impact of religion in politics and on society more generally. The text references a wide array of primary source documents, U.S. Supreme Court cases, and public opinion data, all of which helps students explore religion and politics through multiple lenses. The text provides an excellent foundation to be used in different course modalities, such as on-line and face-to-face in that the text is strong as a stand-alone text, but is also flexible enough to complement outside readings and other materials.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442201521
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/16/2010
  • Edition description: Sixth Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 470
  • Sales rank: 459,740
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth D. Wald is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Series, "Religion, Politics, and Social Theory," and a member of the editorial board of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Allison Calhoun-Brown is associate professor of political science at Georgia State University. Her research and teaching interests include public opinion, religion and politics, and African American politics. She is a past chair of the Religion and Politics section of the American Political Science Association and has published her research in journals such as American Politics Quarterly, The Journal of Politics, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables ix

Preface xi

1 A Secular Society? 1

The Puzzle of Religious Vitality 4

The Persistence of Religion 8

Stability or Change? 13

Possible Explanations 16

Why the United States? 18

2 Religion in the American Content 23

Understanding Religion 24

Patterns of Religious Affiliation 26

Basic Political Tendencies 31

3 Religion and American Political Culture 37

The Puritan Imprint on Colonial Thought 38

Covenant Theology and the Right to Revolt 41

Puritanism and Democracy: A Qualification 44

"Total Depravity" and Institutional Restraint 46

One Nation under God: A Civil Religion 52

Civil Religion as a Double-Edged Sword 57

One of Many Influences 59

4 Religion and the State 63

The Genesis of Church-State Conflict 64

Overview of Church-State Relations 67

How Far Can Government Go? 73

The Judicial Record 78

The Separationist Era (1940s-1970s) 86

The Accommodationist Era 93

The Politics of Church-State Relations 98

The Constitutional Revolution in Perspective 101

5 Mobilizing Religious Interests 105

Studying Religious Interests 106

Establishing Motive 108

Establishing Means 125

6 Religion and Political Action 139

Religion Cultural Environment 141

Institutional Context 145

Partisan Political Alignments 151

Influential Allies 154

Policy Domain 161

7 Religion and Public Opinion 179

Economic Liberalism 181

Moral-Cultural Issues 183

Social Justice 191

Foreign Policy 195

What Culture War?

8 The Political Mobilization of Evangelical Protestants 201

The Political Background 202

Roots of the "New Christian Right" 206

Building a National Movement 209

Evangelical Political Action 210

Organizational Transformation: The Second Generation 212

Theories of Evangelical Mobilization 216

The Impact of the Christian Right 221

The Consequences for Public Policy 222

Good Times? The Christian Right and the Bush Adminstration 224

The Christian Right as a Mass Movement 225

9 Continuity and Change in the Religious Center: Catholics, Mainline Protestants, and Jews 239

Catholicism: Conflicting Political Impulses 241

The Conservative Political Heritage 242

The Transformation of Catholic Attitudes 245

Abortion: The Catholic Response 250

Is Abortion a Catholic Issue? 253

The Political Traditions of Mainline Protestants 259

Mainline Activism: Sources and Reaction s 263

American Jews 266

10 Religion and the Politics of Ethnic and Religious Minorities 275

African American Protestants 276

Latino Catholics and Protestants 286

Muslim Americans 291

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 299

Other Faith Traditions 305

The Other Minorities: Women and Gay People 309

Women, Religion, and Politics 312

Homosexuals 325

Religion and Homosexuality 328

12 Religion and American Political Life 345

The Case against Religious Influence in Politics 346

Assessing the Evidence 352

The Case for Religion in Politics 358

Religion in Public Conversation 367

Notes 369

Reference 383

Index 441

About the Authors 455

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)